Licensing hitch threatens future of Bridport's Electric Palace

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: The Electric Palace, Bridport The Electric Palace, Bridport

BRIDPORT’s Electric Palace could be forced to close after a licensing glitch.

It has been discovered that the foyer of the historic art deco building is not licensed for the consumption of alcohol, or to play music or show films.

Now the town’s popular venue is calling on its supporters to lobby West Dorset District Council to ensure the licence can be extended.

“The council has called to our attention an anomaly in our premises licence, “ said owner Peter Hitchin.

“We have applied to extend our license to include the foyer and councillors will consider our application at the end of this month.

“However, we believe there may be objections raised to the extension of the licence, so it may be denied. This could mean the Palace would have to close, as income from the bar is often the only profit we make at many events. “ The Palace team, which is always seeking to raise funds for the venue, which has charitable status, but operates on a financial knife-edge, believe that support from the town and audiences could make the difference.

The licence problem was spotted as the Palace was setting up new foyer events like a film club and a philosophy club, in a bid to provide a venue for community events as well as live entertainment.

Mr Hitchin urged supporters to contact the licensing authority by February 25 on licensing@westdorset-weymouth.gov.uk or by letter to WDDC Licensing Office c/o North Quay, Weymouth DT4 8TA.

“Please tell them what the Palace means to you, what events you’ve seen there and how a lively bar and foyer is part of that experience,” he added.

Recent acts at the The Grade 11-listed former cinema, completed in 1926, have included artists such as Boy George, Johnny Marr, The Beat, the Kills, the Skatalites, Stiff Little Fingers, Dreadzone, the Proclaimers, Grandmaster Flash, Ruby Turner, Georgie Fame, Courtney Pine, Fairport Convention and Mr Scruff, with comedy greats such as Lenny Henry, Ed Byrne, Henning Wehn, Lee Mack, Russell Howard and Reginald D Hunter.

Comments (1)

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2:03pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Dave54 says...

So there is no licence to sell alcohol in the foyer or to play music or show films. So obtain one like any other establishment that offers these facilities if the cost to obtain one is to much then sorry you will close. when the building closed as a cinema it paid its way now as a music venue it appears not to perhaps a cinema should return to Bridport. unless money is spent to fix the many leaks to the rear of the building Stage/Backstage areas for the health and safety of acts, staff and patrons there is no need to worry about beer in the front. This is only my point of view
So there is no licence to sell alcohol in the foyer or to play music or show films. So obtain one like any other establishment that offers these facilities if the cost to obtain one is to much then sorry you will close. when the building closed as a cinema it paid its way now as a music venue it appears not to perhaps a cinema should return to Bridport. unless money is spent to fix the many leaks to the rear of the building Stage/Backstage areas for the health and safety of acts, staff and patrons there is no need to worry about beer in the front. This is only my point of view Dave54

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